The project has successfully developed a database platform to enable foot trimmer data from different sources (All4Feet, VetImpress, HoofTec) to be uploaded and collated for further analysis. In particular AHDB will give genetic and genomic evaluations for foot health a priority and aim to launch enhanced genomic evaluations for these traits in 2023. These enhanced genomic predictions will immediately enable farmers to a) select which young stock to rear for their future milking herd (i.e. have the opportunity to de-select animals with poor foot health genetics to reduce incidence of lameness in the future), b) select which females to breed from and improve genetics, c) breeding companies can market bulls for use on UK farms with improved foot health, which in turn will enable farmers to pick better genetics and improve the lameness situation on farm. Lameness is one of the costliest endemic diseases with an obvious welfare benefit if we can improve it through genetics. Previous research has shown that genomic predictions are a good indicator of future hoof health, and so this project will further advance the UK national incidence and provide a strong return on investment.

Contact details:

Professor Georgios Oikonomou

Professor of Cattle Health and Welfare

University of Liverpool